In November I attended a friends’ birthday dinner in NYC. I was seated across from two guys and beside one of my best friends. I started talking to the guy in front of me and we really seemed to be getting along. I glanced at his hands and saw no ring. To clarify I asked, “Do you have a wife and kids like your friend beside you does?” He responded no but that he is divorced. Knowing he was single I flirted with him a little and then invited him out for drinks with my two girlfriends as we wanted to change locations. He came along and really just blended in so well with my friends. We kept in contact throughout the weekend and he kept asking to take me out. I reminded him that I did not live in New York so going for dinner might be a little complicated. He surprised me by responding “Well then how about Friday? I’ll fly to you and take you out for dinner”! I was totally taken aback as this is extremely nice for someone to do! I of course accepted, and we met up on Friday. We sat at dinner for almost 5 hours just talking. Afterwards, we stopped at a bar and then went to meet up with 3 of my friends. One of my friends had already met him and the other two embraced him for how fun and easy-going he was! The night began dying down and a guy invited one of my girlfriends to an after-party. My date looked over, observed the guy, and said to my friend:
“Why would you want to go there? That guy looks like he owns cats…”
My friend taking this personally, turned to our other friend and asked: “Am I really going after a guy who looks like he has cats?”
Our friend never missing a beat responded “Why would you listen to what he has to say? He looks like he has a pet Iguana”
So now we have his nickname. We’ve all heard the expression of owners resembling their pets so I’d like you to vividly picture what someone who owns an iguana would look like. Squinty beady eyes, short torso, and most likely up to no good….but I’ll get to that point soon enough.
Iguana returned to NYC as he only came for 24 hours. The communication between us got a bit distant. I, of course, went through my usual thought process of the grocery list of things that could be wrong with me that made him lose interest. However, he then reached out asking if I would like to join him on his upcoming business trip to London. I had work the first two days he was going to be there so I offered to fly out the Friday night (since there were only overnight flights). I would arrive Saturday morning and we could spend 24 hours together in London. Absurd I know…but I had never been to London and I thought maybe there was something between us. He asked if I could book my own flight and then he would send me the money. On a Side note, this is red flag numero uno: If a guy can’t put your flight on his credit card it is either because he is extremely busy (Typically these busy bees have an assistant though to book said flights) or because someone else has access to his credit card statements. I’m crazy enough to agree to go on a trip with someone I’ve only known for 3 weeks but I’m not crazy enough to pay my own way there! I looked up the amount, told him it was booked, received the money and then actually booked it; but leaving the Monday instead of the Sunday like he originally thought.
I arrived at the Conrad London, St James hotel exhausted. I had slept on the plane, but that was “plane sleep” which I count as up there with groggy morning snoozing, not to mention the five-hour time difference. I had been in contact with him upon landing so was a little surprised when I knocked on his door at 11am and he was basking in his hungover glory. May I add that he is forty-two years old. Disregarding his state, I bounded in full of energy excited to see him. We shared a few cuddles then he wanted to get room service and go back to bed. Being my ever accommodating self, I assured him that was not a problem. Having lived in numerous cities alone I didn’t mind going off and exploring on my own. I went out, took in the city, and posted pictures to my social media. One to always create my own entertainment, I began renaming landmarks such as Westminster Abbey alerting my followers Notre-Dame was looking great!!
(See attached picture, beside The Singapore Flyer.)
I arrived back at the hotel around 5pm. To no surprise, he was still sleeping. Knowing I take long to get ready and we had a business dinner for him that night, I decided I’d begin my process. I’d isolated myself in the bathroom so as not to disturb him, but my consideration for the shared space was one-sided. The Iguana’s phone started going off, and it was on “loud”. I don’t know anyone who actually keeps their phone on loud but as noted he’s 42 so maybe he’s losing some of his senses. He was giggling like a little school girl and I patiently endured an hour of hearing incessant “whoosh/ping”. At this point it was clear to me he was not texting a guy or casual friend. Red flag numero dos. Me having been the angel that I am, did not want to put on music as it might have disturbed him from his hungover slumber. However, he had no problem “pinging/whooshing” to his heart’s content! God must’ve heard my prayers because eventually, it stopped. Only for the Iguana to have changed gears and begin BLASTING TOOL! (a TOOL song for context: https://youtu.be/5ClCaPmAA7s) Now, something I’ve learnt about Tool fans…(actually meaning this particular one)…is that it is ALL they listen to. The only band. At all. Ever! I really wasn’t sure which option was worse at this point. Belatedly the Iguana was ready and we were out the door to dinner!
I was optimistic when headed to dinner, thinking he’s young and fun, I’m young and fun, a business dinner on a Saturday night in England? Sounds young and fun. Well, how naive of me to have such a thought. We were joined by three other men, all older, and more boring than my father. My father does not use the Lord’s name in vain nor has he ever been drunk in his life. I wish that had been the most surprising event of the evening but startling enough, it was not. I guess when he briefed me on the dinner plans he forgot to mention that I was also receiving a seat to the Iguana Show.
The purpose of the dinner was for him to meet a potential investor and recruit him as a client. The Iguana decided he was going to take a “cultured” approach. I guess he missed the Brexit memo, assuming England to still be part of the European Union where the use of French might gain him some points. The term he chose to emphasize his point was “Crème of the le Crème.” I practically fell off my chair. I looked at the potential client and he had not batted an eye! I honestly was aghast that someone could butcher such a simple expression to that extent. Maybe because French is my second language I’m being biased. In my opinion, if you don’t know how to properly say something, don’t say it. This follows the same guidelines taught in kindergarten that if you don’t have anything nice to say…well don’t follow my example and put it in a blog. It quickly became apparent he actually believed himself to be the most cultured person in the room and began recounting his travel stories. He took a lot of pride in his recent trip to “Hung Kung”. I think I began internally twitching at this point and decided to make a personal drinking game. Drinking every time he spoke like a privileged white sorority girl who spent a semester abroad in “barthelona”.
Finally, dinner ended and he and I went to a bar for a few drinks. I was totally thrown off at this point by everything but he began redeeming himself once we were just us. He had chosen The Scotch of St James bar and it was exactly the change of pace I needed. I told him my flight was actually on Monday and not the next day like his and so he offered to extend the room for me to stay an extra night without worrying. He returned to NYC the next day, everything seeming fine and then communication got distant again. At this point, he was in North Carolina to visit his mom for Thanksgiving and then headed to Miami for Art Basel. When we finally reconnected I told him I would also be in Miami that weekend. He got super excited and we planned to see each other while there. We met up on the Saturday night, I met more of his friends and everything was good. He decided he wanted to have a heart to heart and talk about feelings. He went into detail about his ex and his failed marriage and all their complications. I was just sitting there absorbing it all like a little sponge. Normally I would be the one on an emotional drunken spiral but I gladly let him take this moment. He shared how he hadn’t been looking for anything serious before meeting me. That he was confused because he didn’t want to miss this opportunity to be with me but he also didn’t feel like he was ready for anything. I agreed with him and assured him I also didn’t think this would be the best time and that he needed to take time for himself. I did however say that if we were still in the same position a few months down the line we could have this conversation again. The next day I went to a day party and decided I didn’t feel like leaving. I texted him asking if he was staying another night, he said yes and asked if I wanted to stay another night as well. I agreed and he booked me a new return flight. I was pleasantly surprised and once again we were on good terms and left happy when returning to our own cities.
Now things started getting a little weird. I was back in NYC the weekend after and even though we had spoken about seeing each other, he did not message me at all. There was no communication from my arrival on Friday, and he didn’t respond to my text or phone call on Sunday. He did then text me this the following Monday…
I guess I am unaware they now sell edibles that last 72 hours. So needless to say, I did not see him. Things were weird between us but he was very apologetic and asked to come visit me. He said he would finalize a date and let me know. He kept saying dates and then not following through. I got to the point of being over the whole thing. Don’t tell me something if you’re not going to follow through. He reached out again asking what my plans were for New Years. I told him I was not sure and was debating options. He offered to fly me out to NYC knowing I would be staying with my best friend. He went on to tell me he had a private event New Year’s Eve but he could see me other than that. Well, I know the only way something is a “private event” is that you’re “privately” with someone else. However, I get a trip to New York and get to see my best friend so I’m being optimistic about the situation. We spoke briefly on Sunday, of course, he was hungover and was unsure if he’d be able to see me later on. Not hearing anything new from him, I landed and met up with two of our mutual friends. One of our friends sent the Iguana a selfie and within minutes he texted, asking me to come over. Apparently, he had just gotten back from the movies and was feeling fine now. I begrudgingly headed over and things were okay. He left first in the morning and I slept in a little longer. Before leaving on Monday morning though, I made his bed.
We texted a little throughout the day and then it petered out. Forward to Tuesday 8pm (New Years Eve), he texted me that he just got in the door and that his bed was so cute! Now I knew he didn’t go home at all since I left Monday morning. His next message to me was a generic “Happy New Year” at midnight. After midnight on New Years Eve, my phone got stolen. My friend messaged him on Instagram from both of our accounts and I texted him the next day on Wednesday. I finally got a response THURSDAY MORNING. The Iguana wanted to know if I would like to go for dinner later that day. I had been there since Sunday, had barely seen him once and was leaving the next day, so I agreed.
Now it was Thursday evening before going to meet him. My friend shared with me that she investigated and confirmed he was with a girl on NYE. She knew the girls’ name but couldn’t find her on Instagram. Oh but this little clue was all I needed. Hold the line, I got this. I remembered having seen a picture he posted with 3 other people in October. Two of the people were obviously a couple so I assumed the other woman in the picture to be his date. I had noticed she also had commented on a couple of his pictures. I expertly found her page and sure enough, she had posted a selfie of them together on NYE. This was the confirmation I had needed, that I hadn’t been reading too much into things and my suspicions were now validated. However this was not the time nor place, I would return to her profile later. I finished getting ready and went to dinner. While at dinner I told him I felt that he didn’t prioritize me, and he brought up our convo in Miami, saying “Sounds like you’re looking for a relationship?” I responded that I was not but I was looking for a baseline of respect that I would expect from anyone I speak to on a regular basis. We’ve now established twice that he is not looking for anything serious…..because as it turns out, he already had someone serious.
We went to his place after dinner…THE BED WAS STILL MADE. Mind you it was Thursday night, I made it Monday morning. The Iguana tried to tell me he slept on the couch…but everyone knows iguanas like the dark. I walked by the computer and saw a printed 4×4 picture of them from an event…Did I not notice this before? Was it new? I’m a very intuitive person and extremely observant, how did I miss this? I had previously checked one bathroom but not the other…so I headed to the unexplored one and opened the mirrored cabinet… et voilà.
My mind began racing, clearly, this was far more serious than I had thought. I was beyond confused. Sure, there had been some red flags but I hadn’t expected anything to this magnitude. We had been to three countries together, four cities, and had been seeing each other for two months. The Iguana initially pursued me. He told me he wasn’t ready for anything serious but didn’t want to miss his chance with me. Could it be I was not his “Crème of the le crème”? I decided to handle this best I knew how, casually giving him a hug goodbye, and not letting on in the least that I knew anything. I left and it was game on…Not for anyone else but for myself.
Hello Instagram, we meet again. Let’s do it right this time.
This girl lived out her life on social media and I’m grateful she did! Apparently, they went on their first documented trip together in May, it was to Milan, I wonder how he pronounced that one. They also went to “Hung Kung”….and North Carolina for Thanksgiving to visit his mother, and last week to Florida with his siblings for Christmas. My deep dive into her world was more so just extra reassurance for myself. I had no reason to say anything to him as we weren’t exclusive. However, I do believe there’s a difference between casually dating someone and having a full-on girlfriend. She posts about them non-stop and who knows how long they were dating before she began posting to social media. She’s spent the holidays with his closest family members and evidently, they have reached the point of saying “I love you” to each other. It was shocking for me that someone could be leading such a double life and lying so much. All things considered, in the end, it seems that by being the “second” girl they meet I have a much easier “out” than their “main” girlfriend. That someone’s actions on that level are such a reflection of who they are and issues they’re personally going through and not a reflection of those around them. I could only hope she is aware and okay with the situation or becomes aware to be able to make her choice. Clearly, he is not the “Crème of the le crème”.